Workshops and Affiliated Meetings

Wildland Fire Canada 2019 welcomes these workshops and affiliated meetings:

FireSmart Exposure Assessment – Technical Workshop

Date: 14:00 to 17:00 Monday, November 18, 2019


  • Jen Beverly (University of Alberta)
  • Elizabeth Chapman (Alberta Wildfire Management Branch)
  • Laura Stewart (FireSmart Canada)

Registration Cost: $75*

*Attendance at this workshop is restricted to participants registered for the Wildland Fire Canada 2019 conference. Conference registration fees and details can be found on the Wildland Fire Canada 2019 registration page.

Wildfire Exposure Assessment is a planning tool used to identify locations where wildfires can encroach into valued or vulnerable areas, such as communities, industrial facilities, or locations valued for providing a range of possible ecological or socio-economic amenities. The exposure assessment method is described in detail in a research publication (Beverly et al. 2010, International Journal of Wildland Fire 19: 299-313) and is explained in non-technical terms in a new FireSmart Exposure Assessment booklet available on FireSmart Canada’s website.

Exposure assessments can be completed quickly by individuals with basic GIS skills using standard mapping software. The process requires relatively few data inputs and the resulting maps are a powerful communication tool that can be used to promote and prioritize wildfire mitigation actions and inform strategic fire response planning.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide hands-on guidance for carrying-out an exposure assessment. In Part I of the workshop, participants will learn about the methods, standards and procedures used to complete an exposure assessment and they will be introduced to recent applications of the assessment by the Alberta Wildfire Management Branch and FireSmart Canada to achieve organizational objectives. In Part II of the workshop, participants will work through a series of step-by-step exercises to carry out an exposure assessment on an example dataset.

Participants are required to supply their own laptops and mapping software (e.g,  ArcMap or R). Other course materials are included in the registration fee and include a technical reference guide as well as supplementary documentation and resources.

To register, visit the Events tab on FireSmart Canada’s website. For more information, contact

Please note, attendance at this workshop is capped at 20 participants so please register early!

The Blueprint for Wildland Fire Science in Canada – Building national research capacity

Date:   2 pm – 5 pm, Thursday Nov 21

Workshop leads:

Registration:  To register for this workshop contact or

*Attendance at this workshop is restricted to participants registered for the Wildland Fire Canada 2019 conference. Conference registration fees and details can be found here:

The Blueprint for Wildland Fire Science (2019-2029) was released in February 2019. Led by the Canadian Forest Service, working in partnership with provinces, territories, Indigenous organizations, academia, and other non-government organizations, the Blueprint provides a national consensus view of Canada’s key wildland fire research priorities and goals over the next ten years. It also makes 15 recommendations intended to guide science investments, attract new partnerships, and align national research efforts.

Community input and participation was critical to how the Blueprint was developed and it will continue to be essential in moving it forward.  During this workshop, participants will take part in facilitated discussions to help establish next steps toward Blueprint implementation (short- and medium-term), identify opportunities for partnership and leadership, and prioritize Blueprint recommendations.

Please note, attendance at this workshop is not capped per se, nor is there any registration fee,  but there is a limit to the capacity of the room so please let Stacey Sankey (  or Rhonda Burke ( aware of your interest early!

Rapid-Burned Area Mapping (R-BAM) satellite technology for supporting wildfire response and recovery efforts

Date: This workshop has been cancelled. For those interested in learning more about R-BAM feel free to contact Jean-Simon Michaud ( at Hatfield Consultants. 

Over the last three years, Hatfield Consultants collaborated with wildfire management agencies in Canada to develop tools using satellite Earth observation technologies to support wildfire response and recovery activities. The Rapid-Burned Area Mapping (R-BAM) algorithm, developed by Hatfield, uses Sentinel-2 satellite data coupled with machine learning analytics to delineate fire perimeters and identify active fires. Following tests with the BC Wildfire Service during the record 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons, Hatfield released the R-BAM algorithm to all Canadian wildfire agencies at no cost (Hatfield news release).

The R-BAM algorithm uses the point location and date of a detected fire (e.g., hotspot detection from MODIS/VIIRS) and automatically downloads and processes multi-spectral Sentinel-2 satellite images. Image processing, machine learning, and geoprocessing are used to provide maps and geospatial data of the burned area, fire perimeter, and active fire. The R-BAM algorithm is written in Python and deployed in a Docker container.

R-BAM was developed with the support of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Earth Observation Application Development Program (EOADP).

Wildfire Investigation Major Case Management

Date:  This workshop has been cancelled.

Unfortunately, the presenters are unable to travel to the conference.

This extended presentation is based on the Alberta Governments current partnership between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) on how they manage major wildfire investigations. The 2-hour presentation will focus on the many challenges a wildfire investigation team, province or agency may face when conducting a major investigation, and reviews several wildfires where their department (AF) worked with the RCMP to seek an outcome. Two notable investigations that will be discussed in part are those of the Slave Lake (2011) and Fort McMurray (2016) wildfires. Specific details from each may be withheld, but the focus will discuss the many issues an investigation team may encounter when investigating wildfires of this magnitude, and how agencies may overcome some of these challenges moving forward.

Predicting fire behaviour in modified conifer fuels with the Conifer Pyrometrics system

Date:   2 pm – 5 pm, Monday Nov 18, 2019

Workshop lead: Dan Perrakis, Canadian Forest Service (Pacific Forestry Centre)

Registration:  To register for this workshop contact

*Attendance at this workshop is restricted to participants registered for the Wildland Fire Canada 2019 conference. Conference registration fees and details can be found here:

This workshop introduces a new fire behaviour modelling scheme that links new models of crown initiation and spread in conifer forests together with new stand specific moisture models. Tentatively called ‘Canadian Conifer Pyrometrics’ (CCP), this scheme is a hybrid between the existing Canadian Fire Behaviour Prediction (FBP) System and Crown Fire Initiation and Spread (CFIS) systems (Cruz et al. 2003-5) that incorporates new research on fuel moisture and crown fire initiation. A simple function to estimate surface fire spread based on the FPB System observations was combined with a new crown fire initiation model (Perrakis et al. in prep.), using the Wotton and Beverly (2007) equations to improve moisture content estimation. For crown fires, the CFIS crown rate of spread model (Cruz et al. 2005) is adapted to represent high danger conditions. The result is a modelling system built on empirical data that offers much greater flexibility with respect to conifer forest structure than the existing FBPS. A simple visualization tool for viewing scenarios using the CCP is called FuelGraph, which allows users to compare predicted rate of spread (ROS) and crown fire initiation thresholds under different fuel and weather conditions.

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the studies and components that make up the CCP System, and be shown how to use FuelGraph to make fire behaviour assessments. Participants are expected to have some degree of technical knowledge of fire behaviour prediction, including the CFFDRS. Operational users should have taken the CIFFC Advanced Wildfire Behaviour course (S-490), while researchers and consultants should have several years of experience working with the FBP System (and/or CFIS) and understand some detail of its workings. Please note that the system being presented is still in development and should not be used for operational fire behaviour prediction.

Participants in the workshop should bring a laptop. A list of recommended software will be provided to participants at least one week prior to the workshop.

Please note, attendance at this workshop will be limited to 20 participants.  There is no registration fee required but if you are interested please register (email) with Dan Perrakis directly to reserve your spot!


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